We are all continuously adapting to the ever-changing landscape that 2020 has provides us. Businesses in particular have had to adjust how they approach their everyday tasks. Something as seemingly simple as employee engagement is now a Zoom-sponsored struggle. Clark Construction‘s corporate services manager, Johanna Hsu, has grappled with the task of keeping the team sports initiatives alive during the pandemic. Hsu spoke with District Fray about how she and Clark Construction have overcome the hurdles of Covid-19 and what they have planned for the future.
District Fray: Office spaces have changed drastically during this time. How has your work changed due to the pandemic?
Johanna Hsu: From a daily work perspective, I’ve had to adjust to working remotely every other day. It was challenging at first since most of my work is done in the office and in person, but I’ve learned to adapt to virtual meetings. I’m lucky that I can rely on team members in the office when I’m remote to help with things that need to get done inside the office. In terms of organizing our sports clubs at Clark, pivoting (2020’s word of the year!) from intramural sports to virtual events like trivia and bingo was key to keeping our teams engaged and giving them opportunities to meet new people during these times.
What progress have you seen with your company in the past six months?
Being in an industry deemed essential was such a blessing in that we were able to continue our operations. As a company, we’ve had to make a shift in how we do certain things like creating alternating schedules [and] wearing face coverings. But overall, we are really lucky that we could keep our job sites up and running. We’ve developed really thorough plans for keeping our offices and job sites safe and healthy, and we continue to make adjustments as things evolve.
How do you engage with clients now?
[Since] my clients are the employees of the company, there has certainly been a learning curve in working with new technology for virtual events. But we’ve adapted. The fitness challenge was a hit and really allowed all of us to get super competitive with each other. I’m glad we’ve been able to find new ways to keep our employees connected and excited to work at Clark.
How has this time affected how the Clark Construction team connects?
I don’t think anything will ever replace the value of being able to play intramural sports or do fun runs together. These types of events have always been a big part of our culture and a selling point for potential candidates. But we’ve found ways to stay engaged through things like virtual events, virtual happy hours and virtual connects.
Clark Construction is behind some of the District’s favorite spots. What projects do you have on the horizon?
We just finished the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial. It’s such a beautiful tribute to an amazing leader, and visiting the beautiful open-air plaza is a great Covid-friendly activity! Construction of Amazon’s HQ2 is underway, which is really exciting. I can’t wait to see that complete. Another really cool project where construction recently started is Armature Works in NoMA, which is actually three adjacent towers: a hotel and two apartment buildings.
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